Implications of R.S. Peters’ notion of ‘cognitive perspective’ for science education

Educational Philosophy and Theory 49 (10):1016-1028 (2017)
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This paper discusses R.S. Peters’ notion of ‘cognitive perspective’, which, through careful reading, can be interpreted as a wider perspective resulting from an awareness of the relationships of one’s knowledge and understanding to one’s own life. This interpretation makes cognitive perspective a holistic notion akin to that of worldview, and also points to the possibility for students to experience a change of outlook on the world, as a result of learning science. Given the ongoing debate regarding the notion scientific literacy and the problems associated with it, the development of cognitive perspective can be considered the primary goal of school science education, as it provides an alternative way to think about what it means for a student to be educated in science. Such a goal, in turn, points to the importance of teaching for the significance of scientific facts and ideas, as awareness of such significance does not necessarily follow the acquisition of content knowledge and the application of the latter in everyday contexts. The paper also attempts to clarify the notion of utility of scientific knowledge, as an understanding of such notion is crucilal for understanding the implications of the development of cogintive perspective for school science education.



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Ethics and Education.Richard Stanley Peters - 1966 - London: Allen & Unwin.
Ethics and Education.A. J. D. Porteous - 1967 - British Journal of Educational Studies 15 (1):75.

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